Brag books (aka professional portfolios or kudos folders) are incredibly beneficial for your job search and interviews: they boost your self-confidence and positive attitude, they help you deliver powerful interview answers, and they even act as a kind of a reference for you. All these things help nudge that hiring manager along the road to offering you the job. What are the brag book essentials you need to know?
What Goes In a Brag Book
A brag book can include just about anything you want:
- congratulatory notes (any notes that compliment you on what a great job you did – from bosses, co-workers, customers, or clients)
- annual performance reviews (if you include some, include them all)
- awards / rewards letters (any official recognition of a job well done)
- letters of recommendation (phone references are best, but written letters won’t hurt)
- types of equipment or software you’ve used or marketed
- certificates from career-relevant, completed educational courses or seminars
- financial or PowerPoint presentations
- copies of articles you’ve written
- brochures you’ve helped develop
- photos of projects you’ve completed
- your college transcript (ONLY if you’re just getting out)
Usually, these are put into page protectors and gathered into a binder for easy reference.
What Your Brag Book Does for You
All that evidence of your success is a great mood booster anytime the job search gets you down. It boosts your morale and attitude so you can be positive with employers.
Your Brag Book Is an Awesome Job Interview Resource
When you bring the brag book into the interview, it acts as evidence for you because it’s proof that you’ve done what you say you can do. Hiring is a risk for employers, so this is a big help.
It’s a great show-and-tell piece. You can show specific pages as examples to illustrate an answer to an interview question, or you can show it as a general example of the quality of your work.
A brag book sets you apart as someone who pays attention to details, who is achievement-oriented, and who cares about giving your best. It definitely provides an impressive “wow” factor.
A brag book will help you get hired.
Build Your Own Brag Book Today
If you haven’t already, start collecting career-related items and documents and put your brag book together today. You will be amazed at how much it helps you.
Get my insider tips for creating and presenting your brag book in the interview in my Job Search Coaching Membership.
Totally agree and it’s helped me stand out and be memorable in a group (especially if I wasn’t the ideal candidate) As a marketing person they don’t expect to see work samples so they are instantly impressed. It is too easy to lie on a resume, and big talkers can also be great at fooling interviewers too. I’ve interviewed too many people who I knew were faking it.
I save screenshots of any digital work I did since they all have a lifetime and don’t stay online long. I then write notes on the project and use STAR to capture potential talking points. Before I started doing this I struggled with remembering what I worked on, or the challenges of each project. Of course you have to be careful to not show work that is confidential, or you can replace names or numbers with other data, or gray out the confidential part.